The religion of the disciples of Buddha. It prevails over a great extent of Asia, and is estimated to be equally popular with any other form of faith among mankind. Its founder, Buddha-a word which seems to be an appellative, as it signifies the enlightened-lived about five hundred years before the Christian era, and established his religion as a reformation of Brahmanism.
The moral code of Buddhism is excellent, surpassing that of any other heathen religion. But its theology is not so free from objection. Max Mller admits that there is not a. single passage in the Buddhiat canon of scripture which presupposes the belief in a personal God or a Creator, and hence he concludes that the teaching of Buddha was pure atheism.
Yet Upham (Histom and Doctrine of Buddhimn, page 2 ), thinks that, even if this be capable of proof, it also recognizes ''the operation of Faith called Damam, whereby much of the necessary process of conservation or government is infussed into the system."
The doctrine of Nirvana, according to Burnouf, taught that absolute nothing or annihilation was the highest aim of virtue, and hence the belief in immortality was repudiated. Such, too, has been the general opinion of Oriental scholars; but Mller (science of Religion, page 141), adduces evidence, from the teachings of Buddha, to show that Nirvana may mean the extinction of many things---of selfishness, desire, and sin-without going so far as the extinction of subjective consciousness.
The sacred scripture of Buddhisin is the Tripitaka, literally, the Three Baskets. The first, or the Vinaya, comprises all that relates to moralityy ; the second, or the Sitras, contains the discourses of Buddha; and the third, or Abhidharma, includes all works on metaphysics and dogmatic phnosophy. The first and second Baskets also receive the general name of Dharma, or the Law. The principal seat of Buddhism is the island of Ceylon, but it has extended into China, Japan, and many: other countries of Asia (see Aranyaka, Aryan, Atthakatha, Mahabharata, Mahadeva, Mahak asyapa, Pitaka, Puranas, Ramayana, Sakti, Sastra, Sat B'hai, Shaster, Shesha, Sruti, Upanishad, Upadevas, Vedas, Vedanga, Zenana and Zennaar).
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